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Bodycote Would Be Open to Takeover Offer, CEO Harris Says

July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Bodycote Plc, a U.K. supplier of metal-strengthening services to Ford Motor Co., would consider a takeover bid, Chief Executive Officer Stephen Harris said today.

The company would be open to an offer “if somebody was to come over the hill and pay a lot of money,” Harris said in a telephone interview today, adding that the company hasn’t been approached.

Bodycote rose 8 percent in London after saying first-half profit was more than double last year’s figure. Shares closed at 388 pence, giving the company a market value of 741.8 million pounds ($1.2 billion).

Adam Pinckard, a Goldman Sachs analyst, listed Bodycote on July 26 among U.K. capital goods stocks which may be takeover targets.

Harris said the company, which signed a 10-year contract renewal to provide thermal processing services to Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc in June, is planning similar long-term deals, although he didn’t identify any companies.

Bodycote, which specializes in heat-treatment services for the energy, auto and aerospace industries, said it expects full-year profit to beat analysts’ forecasts as pretax profit for the half grew to 40.3 million pounds from 19.1 million pounds in the same period last year.

Bodycote said it signed a five-year 125 million-pound revolving credit facility to replace two credit lines due to mature in March 2013. The existing funding, for $20 million and 110 million pounds, were refinanced on “favorable terms,” the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ed Ballard in London at eballard2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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